The Mets had a very frustrating road trip this week, losing three out of four to the Dodgers and dropping two of three to the Diamondbacks. They suffered two backbreaking losses, but those losses did not come at the hands of the offense. The Mets scored enough runs to win in all but two of the games they played this week and if those two late-inning losses had not occurred, we’d probably be having a very different conversation about the team right now. As things stand, the Mets hitters have still performed admirably well in the absence of some of their bigger bats in the lineup, although some of the bench pieces that had been hitting over their heads have cooled off since. But the Mets have gotten Michael Conforto back, Dominic Smith continues to hit playing more regularly, and Todd Frazier is in the midst of a torrid hot streak.
Let’s talk about this aforementioned torrid hot streak. Frazier is second on the team in both hits (9) and wRC+ (199) this week. Four of his nine hits went for extra bases, including two home runs. He leads the team in runs scored with seven and is second only to Michael Conforto for the team lead in walks with five. His resurgence has been key to the Mets run scoring this week and he rocks a cool .360/.448/.680 slash line with far fewer strikeouts than he had in any previous week. It may not last, but for now Frazier is seeing the ball really well.
The above is certainly part of the reason Frazier has been at third base every day during the absence of some of the Mets’ regulars. However, part of that reason is also that J.D. Davis is in a slump, his first truly prolonged one of the year. In order to get at-bats, Davis has been playing some left field along with third base. He posted an ugly -4 wRC+ this week in 18 plate appearances. He has just two hits this week—one single and one home run, which represents his only run scored for the week. He also drove in three runs this week.
The other factor cutting into J.D. Davis’ playing time is that the Mets have decided to cast aside their anxieties about playing Dominic Smith in the outfield because they felt they needed to keep his bat in the lineup. Smith has rewarded that confidence in him by continuing to tear the cover off the ball, even with more regular playing time. His 246 wRC+ this week leads the team. He has seven hits—including two home runs—and two walks in eighteen plate appearances this week. All of that translates to a .500 on-base percentage for the week, which also leads the team. He’s been a great compliment at the top of the order, sandwiched between the righties Amed Rosario and Pete Alonso most days. Even when the likes of Cano and McNeil return, the Mets are likely going to try to find ways to get Smith in the lineup.
Michael Conforto’s team-leading five walks have inflated his wRC+ for the week to a so-so 91, despite hitting just .179 for the week. However, one of his five hits for the week was a big one—a go-ahead grand slam that carried the Mets to their one victory in Los Angeles. It was the first grand slam of his career. That crucial blast netted him four of his five RBIs for the week. He also scored three runs.
Pete Alonso continues to stay hot with the bat this week. He led the team in hits this week with ten and his 185 wRC+ is behind only Smith and Frazier. He also tied for the team lead in RBIs with six. And of course, he collected two more home runs this week, putting his total just short of 20 as the calendar flips to June. Alonso has already accrued almost 2 fWAR for the season.
Of all the Mets bench pieces that did their part to lift the Mets to success last week, the only one that remained hot with the bat through this week was Adeiny Hechavarria, who posted a 123 wRC+ for the week. He was also the only player besides Alonso to have six RBIs this week. He collected eight hits in 27 plate appearances for the week. The Mets are going to face some questions about what to do with him upon the return of Robinson Cano from the injured list. His versatility means that they can slot him in at other positions around the infield to give other guys days off, but with Frazier and Rosario both swinging the bat well right now, it’s hard to justify sitting either of them too often at the moment.
Speaking of Rosario swinging the bat well, he was the other player besides Frazier to collect nine hits this week—one of them a home run. He also walked twice, drove in two runs, scored four runs, and stole a base. He’s been doing very well in the leadoff spot in Jeff McNeil’s absence. Overall this week, he put up a very good 133 wRC+.
As I mentioned above, after their good start filling in for the injured McNeil, Nimmo, and Conforto, the Mets’ backup outfielders have struggled this week. Carlos Gomez has been getting the most regular playing time out of all of them. He posted a 62 wRC+ this week. He had six hits, four of them singles, in 24 plate appearances. He did not walk once and struck out 29.2% of the time, one of the higher marks on the team this week. He scored two runs and drove in one. He also had a defensive mishap in center field this week, but ultimately the Mets were able to keep it from costing them.
Juan Lagares had just one hit in nine at-bats this week and continues to give the Mets next to nothing at the plate. Gomez has taken much of his playing time away at this stage. Aaron Altherr went hitless in five plate appearances this week, but did draw one walk and drive in one run. It will certainly be a challenge when McNeil and Brandon Nimmo return as to who to keep on the roster of Lagares, Altherr, and Gomez. Gomez seems to be the safest of the three based on performance, but Lagares is owed roughly $5 million or so for the remainder of the season, so the Mets would have to eat that money if they were to cut him loose.
After a torrid week last week with the bat, Wilson Ramos has cooled down somewhat. He posted a 106 wRC+ this week over 21 plate appearances. He collected five hits, including one home run, which was his only extra-base hit this week. His home run also represents his only RBI for the week, which is an aberration for him. He also walked twice and scored two runs.
Ramos seemed surprised when he was not chosen to catch Jacob deGrom’s most recent start, with the Mets continuing to be purposefully vague about whether Tomas Nido is deGrom’s personal catcher. For now, it seems as if he is, for all intents and purposes. Nido had three hits—all singles— in eleven plate appearances this week. Nido’s one RBI for the week came in that deGrom start on Saturday, helping the Mets to build their early lead, which the bullpen squandered away.